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    Friday, May 26, 2017

    Masked attackers dressed in military uniforms opened fires at a Christian bus

    Egyptian forces have struck bases in which militants who waged a deadly attack against Christians have been trained.
    President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said fighter jets struck militant bases in eastern Libya in retaliation for an attack by suspected Islamic State militants that killed 35 Christians and wounded another 25 south of Cairo.
    The officials said the warplanes targeted the headquarters of the Shura Council in the city of Darna, where local militias are known to be linked to al Qaida, not the Islamic State group.
    Mr el-Sissi warned that Egypt will strike at any bases that train militants who wage attacks in the country, wherever they may be.
    Up to 10 masked attackers dressed in military uniforms stopped a convoy in Egypt province, 140 miles south of Cairo, as the group was heading towards Saint Samuel the Confessor Monastery in Maghagha to pray.
    The gunmen, who arrived in three four-wheel drive vehicles, used automatic weapons to spray bullets at the convoy before fleeing. A health ministry official said a 'large number' of victims were children.
    The group was travelling in a convoy of two buses and a truck from the nearby province of Bani Suief when the mass shooting happened. 
    No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which came on the eve of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan. 
    Mr el-Sessi also directly appealed to US President Donald Trump to take the lead in the fight against global terror.
    In a televised address just hours after the attack, Mr el-Sissi said 'I direct my appeal to President Trump: I trust you, your word and your ability to make fighting global terror your primary task.'
    He also repeated calls that countries which finance, train or arm extremists be punished.
    In response, Mr Trump condemned the attack blaming ''evil organisations of terror' and 'thuggish ideology'.In a strongly worded statement, Mr Trump referred to the 'merciless slaughter of Christians' and said a 'wound is inflicted upon humanity' every time innocent blood is spilled.
    He said the attack by masked militants on a bus taking the worshippers to a monastery should bring nations together to crush 'evil organisations of terror'.
    It comes after ISIS claimed responsibility for three deadly church attacks in December and April that claimed the lives of dozens of people. 
    The jihadists threatened more attacks against the Arab country's Christians, who make up around 10 per cent of its population of about 90 million. 
    Pictures of the bus aired by state television showed the vehicle riddled with machine-gun fire and its windows shot out. 
    Ambulances were parked around it as bodies lay on the ground, covered with black plastic sheets.
    Security forces launched a hunt for the attackers, setting up dozens of checkpoints and patrols on the desert road. 
    The grand imam of al-Azhar, Egypt's 1,000-year-old centre of Islamic learning, said the attack was intended to destabilise the country. 
    'I call on Egyptians to unite in the face of this brutal terrorism,' Ahmed al-Tayeb said from Germany, where he was on a visit.
    President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called a meeting of security officials, the state news agency said.
    The United Nations Security Council condemned the attack in Egypt 'in the strongest terms'.
    In a statement released Friday, the Council expressed its 'deepest sympathy' and condolences to the families of the victims and emphasized that the perpetrators need to be brought to justice.

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    Item Reviewed: Masked attackers dressed in military uniforms opened fires at a Christian bus Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Abdul Sattar Qamar